Weekend News by WiredPRNews.com —Some folks who may have a basic understanding of football may not fully get the various positions that the TV announcer rattles off during the game, so here’s a breakdown of the basics of each position.
The offensive line is group of large blockers who help the ball carriers move the ball forward. At the center of this line is a player, appropriately named ‘center,’ who snaps the ball to the quarterback. The quarterback is responsible for getting the ball to downfield receivers, such as tight ends and receivers via forward passes, or to running backs via handoffs for tosses.
The running backs have a variety of different names—halfback, fullback and tailback—but their function is the same: to carry the ball past the defensive players who are protecting the end zone. When they are not running with the ball, the backs often block or help fool the defense by taking and running with fake handoffs. The phony handoffs, often called play-action passes, give the quarterback more time throw the ball while fooling the defense into thinking the play was a handoff.
Wide receivers line up on the outer ends of the line and are usually the fastest of the offensive players. Their duty is to catch passes thrown by the quarterback. Tight ends are also receivers, in that they catch passes, but their large size often means that they serve as blockers.
On defense, the line that faces the offense is the defensive line. These five players are the middle linebacker, who lines up opposite the center, the defensive tackles who line up on both sides of the middle linebacker an the defensive guards who are line up on the outer side of the defensive tackles.
Behind the defensive line are the safety positions and defensive backs, also called cornerbacks, who defend against the receivers who catch passes. Outside linebackers, usually positioned between the defensive backs and the defensive line, provides an intermediate layer to the defense.